When shall I be creative?

When and where shall I be creative?  Well – it is up to you – but do read this poem by Charles Bukowski for some insight:

“–you know, I’ve either had a family, a job, something
has always been in the
but now
I’ve sold my house, I’ve found this
place, a large studio, you should see the space and
the light.
for the first time in my life I’m going to have a place and
the time to
no baby, if you’re going to create
you’re going to create whether you work
16 hours a day in a coal mine
you’re going to create in a small room with 3 children
while you’re on
you’re going to create with part of your mind and your
body blown
you’re going to create blind
you’re going to create with a cat crawling up your
back while
the whole city trembles in earthquakes, bombardment,
flood and fire.
baby, air and light and time and space
have nothing to do with it
and don’t create anything
except maybe a longer life to find
new excuses


(poem found on “Hello Poetry” blog)


Poem as wise advice – Rachel Macy Stafford


Maybe the best thing you could do right now is just sit with it awhile.
Maybe the bravest thing you could do right now is just decide this will not defeat you.
Maybe the most productive thing you could do right now is just fold your hands in solitude.
Maybe the most sensible thing you could do right now is just laugh … laugh in the face of it all.
Maybe the most powerful thing you could do right now is just close your eyes and envision a positive outcome.
Maybe the most loving thing you could do right now is just give yourself room to breathe.
Maybe the best thing to do right now looks like nothing at all.
But it’s not.
Because when you’re gathering hope,
it’s patient.
When you’re gathering strength,
it’s quiet.
When you’re gathering resilience,
it’s unnoticeable.
In the face of challenge and uncertainty,
Sometimes the best thing you can do right now
is just hold on.
© Rachel Macy Stafford 2014

Videopoem “I am the captain of my soul” x 4

This line is from the poem “Invictus”, by a Victorian writer William Earnest Henley.  (Invictus is the Latin word for Unconquered).


Matt Baker, for the Olympics 2012, reads only 30 seconds of it, which is a good start.

But the poem “Invictus” is longer and has a more distinguished history and influence on sport and politics than the 2012 Olympics….

In the compelling film “Invictus” showing how Nelson Mandela came into office, his struggles and his inspiring both the hosting of the World Rugby event and the Captain of the national Rugby team to take part and attempt to win against world-class teams.  In this scene, the rugby team are shown around Robben Island, the prison for mainly political prisoners – and the very cell where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his 27 years behind bars.  The captain (played by Matt Damon) lingers and into his mind comes the poem which sustained Nelson Mandela (played by Morgan Freeman) through the toughest times.


In an interview in America, Morgan Freeman was asked about the poem and asked to read it – he didn’t even need to look at the offered printed version; he learnt it in school.  He recites it from memory.  It is so powerful that the interviewer involuntarily swears thinking it’s over – but Morgan continues until the end, when Charlie Rose, the presenter, says “This is a magical moment in the history of this show”.  Morgan just smiles the smile of a man who knows good writing when he sees it.

The poem then went on to be used as the theme for the Invictus games, 2014, for “Wounded Warriors”.  Recited by a variety of achievers in fields of arts and sport: Daniel Craig, Joss Stone, Tom Hardy, Joanna Lumley, will.i.am and Rod Stewart, Stephen Fry, Bear Grylls, Bruce Forsyth and Example with sports personalities Ricky Hatton, Lizzy Yarnold, Louis Smith and Iwan Thomas, along with actor and comedian Omid Djalili.

Wait – Galway Kinnell (2 mins)

The poet wrote this poem for a student contemplating suicide after a failed love affair.

For some unknown reason, the runup to the poetry reading has a distracting phistly white noise sound – but persevere, the poet and his reading are crystal clear, thankfully.

One of the strengths of poetry is its compactness for conveying deep vision, truth and – well, life.  There is an astonishment of ideas in these brief 2 minutes.

Shortest poem?

I just came across this intriguing video answer to that question.

First of all, I need to say that the presenter is slightly too inTENse in the WAy he spEaks. But don’t let this put you off, the content is interesting, cooky and sometimes plan daft, with many examples.  Persist in viewing if you’re interested in words and wordplay. Or find yourself looking at a postcard and wondering how you can possibly write anything interesting in such a brief space.